Tannöd

Tannöd
               Genre: literature, mystery
  Three years ago, was Andrea Maria Schenkel’s debut novel Tannöd a sensational success, received the German Crime Prize, and stood for weeks on the bestseller list. There followed one of Monica Bleibtreu read audiobook version, and a play. Now, the Swiss director Bettina Oberli (North Wind, Late Bloomers), the novel adapted for the big screen, and staged an impressive, densely atmospheric drama.

Tannöd is synonymous with tragedy. Reconstruction will be a bloodbath in the fictional town in a farm in Bavaria, situated mid-50s. There, the entire family Danner with the pickaxe was murdered in cold blood: the old farmer Danner, his careworn woman, daughter Barbara, her two small children and the maid. Nobody in town has noticed the fact, somewhat surprised, but it does not. For the old Danner (Vitus Zeplichal) was an unpredictable tyrant, not only his own family cruelly oppressed, but also to the villagers has been spiteful and malicious. Nobody in the village liked him.

The act is two years ago when the 26-year-old Kathrin (Julia Jentsch) in the village appears, has lived in their recently deceased mother. The killer has still not found, and Kathleen’s presence brings the tragedy once again. The reclusive Kathrin villagers tell their version of history. Like a mosaic is composed of the individual statements of fact, which is reconstructed in flashback and back to the scene. A chronological reclamation do not exist, neither the novel nor the film, and so there is a nested narrative on the screen again.

The story, based on a real and unsolved murder six times in 1922 on a farmstead in Upper Bavaria Hinterkaifeck relates, leaves a blood-curdling. The interesting thing about the film but also the conditions in the village, the milieu, the coldness, indifference and bigotry of the villagers. Mutual recriminations and mistrust provide a threatening mood. Because the murderer is one of them, from their own ranks. Painted a bleak picture of society is the postwar period.

States and mysterious murders in a village, stubborn villagers – this may seem to know who has viewed the white ribbon from Michael Hanecker. In both films, it is not primarily concerned with solving the murder or murders. Both films have a similar threatening and disturbing, if only in the staging of the oppressive, patriarchal, strict religious village atmosphere. But while Hanecker drama before the First World War and thus going against the horrors of the Nazis, these horrors in Tannöd long gone. Shortly after World War II, people had hope that the evil is finally over. The film shows how fast it can go until the evil germinates and again how vulnerable people are in favor.

With precise, almost documentary look Bettina Oberli illuminates life in the village and the cruel fact behind it. With her film, she has managed both an exciting thriller, but also a grandiose psychological drama.

(Katrin Knauth)

Title: Tannöd Country of production: Germany Year of production: 2009 Length: 104 (Min) of material: (# ) Constantin Film Distribution

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